SLIDESHOW: Tough opening day for Limerick duo with Irish Basketball's U18 side

Leader Reporter


Leader Reporter


There was disappointment for the Ireland Under 18 men’s team this evening as they lost out their opening game at the 2019 FIBA U18 Men’s European Championship Division B to North Macedonia,74-60.

A massive opening quarter from North Macedonia saw them punish Ireland repeatedly from beyond the three-point line, with sharpshooter Andrej Jakimovski finishing the quarter with 15 points to give his side a 13-point cushion. They also had the edge on the offensive boards through the game, grabbing 21 boards throughout.

Despite a much stronger second half display from the boys in green, including a 15-point game from Sanmi Fajana, some big three-pointers from Nathan Moore and superb defense from James Connaire, the damage had already been done and North Macedonia took the win.

Speaking afterwards, head coach Paul Kelleher stated: “We’re disappointed, we were so well prepared, maybe we put too much expectation on ourselves. When you give up 21 offensive rebounds... and they had 15 shots more than we did, and that’s probably where they got their extra few points. We gave them too much air space and they got comfortable in the first quarter. We’ll go again tomorrow though, and the boys know what we have to do.”

Speaking of tomorrow, it’s a quick turn around for the Irish, as they face off against Slovakia at 2.15pm (Irish time) in their second group game.

Ireland U18 Men’s team result:

Group Game 1

North Macedonia 74-60 Ireland


IRELAND: Ronan Cregan, Matthew Harper (9), Nate Moore (8), Paul Kelly (7), CJ Fulton (3), Tiernan Howe (5), James Connaire (5), David Lehane (4), Daire Kennelly (2), Rapolas Buiyvdas (2), Sanmi Fajana (15), Leeroy Odiahi.


Ireland U18 Men’s Fixtures at FIBA U18 Men’s European Championships
(All times listed are Irish times)

Saturday, July 27th

Group Game 2

Ireland v Slovakia, 14.15


Sunday, July 28th

Group Game 3

Ukraine v Ireland, 16.30


Monday, July 29th

Rest Day


Tuesday, July 30th

Group Game 4

Ireland v Denmark, 12.00


Wednesday, July 31st

Group Game 5

Georgia v Ireland, 14.15


Thursday, August 1st

Rest Day


Friday, August 2nd



Saturday, August 3rd



Sunday, August 4th



The Ireland U18 men's squad 2019

CJ Fulton, Belfast Star, St. Malachy’s College, Belfast

Daire Kennelly, Tralee Imperials/Garvey’s Tralee Warriors, Mounthawk

David Lehane, Blue Demons, Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG

James Connaire, Moycullen BC, St Joseph’s The Bish, Galway

Leeroy Odiahio, Tralee Imperials/Garvey’s Tralee Warriors, Mounthawk

Matthew Harper, Templeogue BC, Templeogue College

Nathan Moore, Limerick Lions/UL Sports Eagles, Cresent Comprehensive

Paul Kelly, Moycullen BC, St Paul’s Oughterard

Rapolas Buivydas, St. Brendan’s/Garvey’s Tralee Warriors, CBS The Green St. Mary’s

Ronan Cregan, Limerick Lions, Cresent Comprehensive

Sanmi Fajana, Myerscough College,  Manchester

Tiernan Howe, Abbey Seals Dublin Lions, Coláiste Chiarain, Leixlip